25 reasons Hong Kong is the best city in the world

And this isn’t even it’s best side.

Is one city really worthy of being called the best in the world? Hell yeah. My city. OK my adopted city.
But that only makes it more real.
There’s no patriotism here, no nationalism, no “Yeehaaargh YOO ESS AYY! YOO ESS AYY!” idiocy of American proportions.
This is pure and simple fact. 25 of them.
I’d be interested to know if you agree, or have more to add.

1. The taxis are cheap, reliable, and everywhere
2. The nightlife can be sordid, or classy, or chic, or grounded, or cheap, or “fuck it I’m gonna die anyway let’s spend a couple thou on one bottle of booze” expensive
3. The Hong Kong Island skyline matches pretty much any visual nature can throw your way
4. World’s best (and highest?) rooftop bars
5. The beaches are decent and damn easy to get to
6. Countryside, peace and good treks are just a ferry ride away
7. Dim sum
8. Ocean Park
9. 15% tax rate
10. The little old ladies selling bananas on street corners
11. Art galleries that provide free wine just for turning up
12. Nowhere is further than an hour from where you are now
13. Great access to Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand etc. Traveler’s heaven
14. The MTR – a theater of limbs, Gucci handbags, bewildered Mainlanders and snobbish HKers
15. Dai pai dang – street food made awesome
16. Egg tarts
17. Everything’s so fucking well maintained and efficient
18. 15 years after handover and it’s still not China
19. Lamma Island
20. TukTuk restaurant – great Thai food in a wicked cozy venue
21. The VIP cinema in Elements
22. Bumping into friends on the street
23. Typhoons
24. How the Fitness First sales girls precede their customer service surveys with “You so handsome!” and a giggle
25. Every day is exciting

Dubai plans monstrous, five-star replica of Taj Mahal

ImageThe Gulf city is to take one of the world’s most beautiful things and turn it into a hotel.

The world’s most famous monument to love — the Taj Mahal — is to be copied, or perhaps corrupted, certainly not replicated, as a giant symbol of Gulf ostentation in Dubai.

At “three to four times” the size of the original in Agra, India, what has been dubbed the “Taj Arabia” will function as a five-star hotel rather than an emperor’s heartfelt expression of love to his deceased wife, with 300 rooms and serviced apartments in adjacent buildings.

The US$1 billion project slated to complete in 2014 “will be ideal for wedding guests,” Arun Mehra, chairman of the Link Global Group, sub-developers of the project, managed to convince Gulfnews.com. “We want to create an atmosphere which bonds family members.”

The monstrosity will be part of the massive 400-hectare Falconcity of Wonders Project, a residential, tourism and recreation destination that claims to be “the most astonishing place on earth” and will also include a replica Eiffel Tower, Great Pyramid, Tower of Pisa, leaning, one would assume, perhaps even more than the original, Great Wall and the entire “Town of Venice.”

In a straw poll of Indian colleagues, two out of two, that’s 100 percent, did not actually vomit once they heard the news.

“Why not get married there? A Bollywood-style wedding destination is better than a hotel ballroom,” said Sita Wadhwani, digital editor for Vogue India.

Another said, “I would never go, but anyone looking to get married in a grand (though cheesy) location will definitely jump on it I think.”

Indian magnanimity aside, some Bollywood film producers have reportedly already expressed interest in filming at the location.

Why use the small, old, slightly faded version when there’s a brand new shiny hulking upgrade available, right?

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